Staff Writer: Maya Arruda
On November 19th, 2022, beloved actor Jason David Frank died by suicide. His death was confirmed a day later, on the 20th.
Jason David Frank was most known for his role in the popular children’s series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1995), where he played Tommy Oliver, first the green ranger and later the white ranger.
He played the red ranger in Power Rangers Zeo (1996) and Power Rangers Turbo (1997). Frank made a return to the Power Rangers franchise as the black power ranger in Power Rangers Dino Thunder (2004). He also featured in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995) as the white ranger and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997) as the red ranger.
He had roles in other media, such as the silver bear in We Bare Bears and the voice of Emissary in Transformers: Titans Return, and appeared in the documentary Making Fun: The Story of Funko. He plays the protagonist in the film Legend of the White Dragon, which will be released in 2023.
Legend of the White Dragon is based on the Power Rangers series as a mature, darker film for the Power Ranger fans that grew up.
The cause of his death was recently confirmed publicly by his wife, Tammie Frank, in an interview with People magazine.
Tammie Frank had previously filed for a divorce after being married for 19 years; however, she says that they reconciled their relationship before his passing.
Jason David Frank had been struggling with mental illness, particularly depression.
Moreover, according to his wife in the interview with People, he was also struggling with the emotional trauma of losing a child. “A year ago, my daughter Shayla, whom Jason helped me raise as his own, suddenly passed away. Jason had been the one to find her when it happened, and the situation wrecked our family emotionally,” said Tammie Frank.
Besides acting, Jason David Frank was a devoted martial artist and had a professional MMA career. He studied multiple forms of martial arts, including Shotokan, Taekwondo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has black belts in Taekwondo, Wado-Ryu karate, judo, and an 8th-degree black belt in Shotokan karate. His amateur MMA record was 4-0, and his professional record was 1-0. He is undefeated.
He founded a martial arts school, Rising Sun Karate Academy, to teach his own blend of martial arts called Tose Kune Do, along with his business partner and fellow martial artist, Rick Herbster. His martial arts legacy will live on through his students.
Despite his successes as a martial artist and business owner, he still was humble and kind to his fans, who loved him for his role as the green power ranger. He went to countless conventions to interact with his fans nearly thirty years after Mighty Morphin Power Rangers first aired.
On a personal note, he was my favorite power ranger as a child – and, admittedly, as an adult. Nothing cheered me up more than watching Tommy Oliver on the screen, beating up the countless monsters sent by Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd. Power Rangers was my comfort show.
When I was around 10 or so, I finally got to go to my first Comic Con in Rhode Island with my best friend, and they had a Power Rangers stall set up with some of the original actors from the first series. I was so excited about it, and it made me so happy that my favorites were all there.
While my friend and I were in the crowd, she ran into Jason David Frank when he wasn’t at the stand, and he still took the time to talk to her.
He has always been good to his fans.
He was a good person who accomplished much but remained humble and kind. He positively influenced a generation of children, and the world is worse off without him.
Undoubtedly, he will be missed by many.